Maintenance in Kentucky refers to court-ordered financial support provided by one former spouse to the other former spouse after the couple has divorced or legally separated.
Traditionally, Kentucky maintenance was paid by the husband to the wife, but now courts recognize that a former husband may be entitled to maintenance from a former wife.
Three Types of Kentucky Maintenance
There are different types of Kentucky maintenance that are reflective of the different reasons a court may order maintenance to be paid.
1. Permanent maintenance, or open-ended maintenance, results from a longer marriage and enables the spouse receiving the support to maintain a lifestyle close to the one he or she enjoyed during the marriage.
2. Rehabilitative maintenance, or close-ended maintenance, is designed help a spouse become rehabilitated, such as providing assistance for the spouse to return to school to increase his or her earning capacity.
3. Lump sum maintenance is payments over time to make up for an imbalance in property division.
Kentucky Maintenance Factors
There is no exact formula for determining maintenance. The burden of proof is on the spouse seeking maintenance to convince the court of his or her need.
First, the spouse seeking maintenance must meet the two prong test outlined in the statute, and convince the court that he/she:
a) lacks sufficient property….to provide for his reasonable needs; AND
b) is unable to support him/herself through appropriate employment or is the custodian of a child whose condition or circumstances make it appropriate that the custodian not be required to seek employment outside the home.
If the court overcomes this hurdle in favor of the spouse seeking maintenance, then the court has discretion to order maintenance on a temporary or permanent basis for an amount it deems fair.
In making this determination, the court will look to the following Kentucky maintenance factors outlined in the statute:
a) The financial resources of the party seeking maintenance;
b) The time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment;
c) The standard of living established during the marriage;
d) The duration of the marriage;
e) The age, and physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance; and
f) The ability of the spouse from whom maintenance is sought to meet his/her needs while meeting those of the spouse seeking maintenance.
Generally, maintenance may not be awarded after a divorce decree has been entered, particularly where the court had jurisdiction to award maintenance but failed to do so.
If a court lacks the necessary personal jurisdiction over a spouse to make a maintenance determination, maintenance may be awarded in a post-dissolution proceeding.
Kentucky Divorce Lawyer
If you are a man facing divorce in Kentucky, please consult with a divorce lawyer in your jurisdiction to ensure your rights are protected. Cordell & Cordell has offices and family law attorneys located in Lexington and Louisville and licensed to practice throughout the state should you seek additional information or possible legal representation.